5 Ways to Increase Funding in 2021

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January 4, 2021
5 Ways a Non-Profit Can Do to Increase Funding in 2021
by Lori Shecter

Here are the top 5 things you can do to increase funding in 2021.   It’s all about perception versus reality.  Everything you do online makes an impact on how everyone views your organization and their ability to help you.  These ideas are meant to be a roadmap — not the gospel, and will hopefully help you continue your momentum.  Remember receiving money, from donations to grants to sponsorships is not an end-of-the-year, one last gasp.  It should be continual and consistent messaging across your platforms.  But first and foremost…

“Do not undersell yourselves. Please. I literally have cried on the phone when I hear what you do. I know, not too professional. But  I am humbled. 

First, spend time evaluating last year’s successes and failures to fully understand the reasons behind both.  In addition, please design your goals and success metrics so they are achievable.  For example, We Are Immediate wants to engage 2 new clients per month.  Are you one of them? (OK, slight sales pitch but an example of Call-to-Action on a webpage, so kills two birds with one stone!)

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1:  Messaging Synergy

Evaluate your messaging across every marketing platform that you utilize and make sure that it is clear, consistent, and impactful; impactful in that it helps viewers understand who you are, who you help, how you help, and what your needs are. Now is the time to take a hard look at all your platforms — are they consistent in terms of design and messaging?  Here is a list of areas you should evaluate to help you increase funding.

Messaging areas

  • Website
  • Social Media
  • Newsletter
  • PR Releases

2:  Your website

There is nothing more important than your website.  It’s like a living room that invites people into your organization, and your homepage is like your foyer. Example:  SSSEVA.ORG

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“People don’t care about your mission– they care about your impact. Who you help, what you do, and why they should care enough to donate.  i.e. ‘We’ve changed 1000 lives by providing housing and education.’

  • Homepage:  Who you help, how you help, how people can get help, your impact, and how to get to your donation pages.  The top hero should be your CALL TO ACTION- Donate Now, Learn More, etc.
  • About:  The “why” you exist, your team, your history
  • Programs:  Details and Contact Information
  • Impact and story pages:  Here is where you will motivate people to donate.  Add inspirational videos, imagery, and text.  Let people know what your actual impact on 1 or 1000 people are.  The number is not as important as the actual impact.
  • Donation page:  Easy to use and to donate, and easy to duplicate so you can have multiple campaigns.
  • Don’t work blindly. Add Google analytics code to your website so you know where people are visiting, where they are coming from, and the impact of any paid marketing campaign.
  • Add your Facebook Pixel to your website.
  • Add HotJar to view see how people use your pages

3:  Social Media

Don’t get overwhelmed or bogged down by what this all means.  Whether your a one-man-band or have a few people (paid or volunteer) helping you.  Notice how the Lymphoma Community Instagram coordinates the colors of their website into their posts.

“The most important part of social media for 2021 is to create a strategy that connects content with success metrics.

And there is an easy way to organize this.  To me, the greatest traction comes from creating a blog/news post (like this one you are reading) and sharing it across all of our platforms which include email, FB, and Linked In. Personally, I like using a sharable Google spreadsheet to help.

  • Step 1:  Analyze –What worked last year in terms of donations, volunteers, registration, website traffic.   Review both the design and content of these posts because this is your gold.  This is what you want to get really good at repeating.
  • Step 2:  What are 3 goals for this year (yes, only 3 for now, you can always add more)  For example, increase donations, increase media following, increase program registrations
  • Step 3:  Identify the target audience that you need to reach and where you best reached them last year — Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, etc.
  • Step 4:  Create your calendar with 3 – 5 posts per week with topics, titles, and potential creative and the platforms you are going to schedule on.
  • Step 5:  After posting, you need to boost on most social platforms to get the type of traction you want.
  • Step 6:  Evaluate the response.

4:  Your Newsletter

Newsletters for 2021 also need analysis.  Evaluate those topics that ended up supporting your goals:  donations, registrations, volunteers, etc.  Everything should be tested and evaluated.

“Determine this year’s goals as well as success metrics.  Both Google Analytics and your email analytics will help you in this.

  • Landing Page (Example above) –  Do all your newsletters link to the same page on your website? Test linking to different pages like Impact and Stories — not just donate.
  • Your email sender — are you getting good open and click rates?  I highly suggest testing text only emails with Yesware and Hubspot, both have free trials.
  • Subject line – what are you saying in your newsletter – Here’s a cool subject line tool: Sharethrough
  • Topics – great stories and impact versus donation needs
  • Content – do they read it?  Show a partial snippet of content and link back to your website.  Does your website traffic increase?  Do donations increase?  Here’s an example of our Google analytics and the power of our blog posts…nearly 11% of our traffic comes from our newsletter to our posts.

5:  New Ways to Find Sponsors and Foundation Grants

Does your non-profit rely on donations, grants, or sponsors?  Maybe 2021 is the year to mix it up and help to increase funding.  Sponsorships and Grants are probably the hardest, but possibly the biggest bang for your buck when it comes to fundraising.

Consider these approaches:

  • Find new sponsors:  Look at competitive organizations and identify their larger sponsors.  Many corporations have a budget for Mission-Based Marketing. For example, did you know that Verizon supported non-profits? Check out Double the Donation’s extensive list to help you identify corporations that can help you increase funding.
  • Create sponsorship packages that are different than you imagine.  See the related article below.
  • Finding contacts:  So this might be the most important step here — in order to reach human beings, search them on Linked-In BUT don’t contact them through Linked-In use a service like Rocket Reach to find their personal emails.  (It might even be the way you made it to our mailing list!
  • Find local foundations by using Google. Go Local.  To find all the foundations near We Are Immediate, I used search words,  “List of Family Foundations NYC” and I came up with this list.  No one said this was going to be easy to go through the list and see if there is a grant that might fit the needs of your organization.
  • For the best traction, make sure that your Messaging Synergy makes sense so when you do get responses, people will understand your message, your needs your requirements.

OK, so I hope this list helps you and your team get started.   Need any help?  Schedule a 30 -minute pro-bono consultation with your marketing needs.

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Have questions? Drop us a line.





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